Category Archives: religion

The Real War on Women: Female Genital Mutilation

Caution: the topic discussed in this post is extremely disturbing. Some of the images below should be viewed by those ages 17+ and are not reccomended for children.

Yet it is children who are subjected to this barbarity.

I mentioned this briefly in a previous post, but I think it’s too important a topic to just brush to the side.

When it comes to men, it’s just accepted, one way or the other. After all:

“9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is my covenant which ye shall keep between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man-child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of thy foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.”

Not being male, nor having sons, this has never been an issue for me, even as a conversational topic. Some guys were circumcised as infants, some weren’t. Period, end of discussion that never happened*.

Then, when I was in high school, I read an article in Reader’s Digest about a woman named Waris Dirie, a model. I sat on the couch in my grandmother’s living room, absolutely riveted. The pictures that attended the article were beautiful. The content** made me want to vomit.

post-20476-1307374602

In 29 countries throughout the Middle East in Africa, there live 125 million girls and women who have survived the practice of female circumcision, also called female genital mutilation (FGM). Many others have died from shock, infection, and blood loss. According to the World Health Organization, the procedure has zero health benefits, and is usually carried out on girls between the ages of infancy and fifteen years. FGM can lead to problems including urinary difficulties, infections, cysts, and high newborn mortality. It is recognized internationally as a human rights violation. Practiced in areas far from centers of modern medicine, these are the types of intruments used to carry out the procedure:
FGM-instruments

FGM varies from the clitoridectomy (Type I, removal of the clitoris), to the excision (Type II, removal of the clitoris and labia minora, with or without removal of the labia majora). Waris’ story contains a vivid description of the most “complete” type of FGM – infibulation. Infibulation (Type III) is the means through which the clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora are removed or rearranged in order to create a seal that narrows the vaginal opening. The opening left is tiny, allowing urine and menstrual blood to be expelled a drop or so at a time.

3 types of FGM

Think about that for a moment, ladies. Think about the last time you’d downed that coffee on the way to work, and how badly you really had to go by the time you go there. Think about the sigh of relief when you sat down and let the floodwaters go.

Now imagine that you could only go one drop -literally- at a time. Imagine the pain.  Imagine the pain you suffer every time you get your period, when each drop of blood, each clot of tissue, must squeeze through that tiny opening. You may never find pleasure in sex – you would have to have surgery before you could have intercourse! Even if you managed to immigrate to a more enlightened country and escape that culture, you still have to go through surgery to reverse the damage. Chances are your clitoris was removed.

Why? Why was this done to you? It in no way helps your body. Nothing was accomplished. Nothing was broken and needed to be fixed. You only drew an unlucky ticket that placed you into a culture that sees women as dangerous creatures whose sexuality is dirty and must be controlled. Your virginity is key, and so sewing your vagina shut is the only way to keep your libido at bay. You are told that you are “clean” and “beautiful” after undergoing this barbaric practice, and what woman doesn’t want to be called beautiful? And so it continues, generation after generation.

Ladies, get your heads on straight. Your employer not paying for your birth control does not constitute a “war on women”. Stop listening to those morons like Nancy Pelosi and Wendy Davis and open your eyes to what a true atrocity really looks like.

*If any male wishes to comment on the subject, please do.

**The text of the Reader’s Digest article can be found here: http://www.fgmnetwork.org/articles/Waris.html
A
 simple Google search of her name will bring up other FGM links, including her foundation.

WHO fact sheet on female genital mutilation: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

Images found courtesy of Google Images.

 

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Yes, God is Love, and So Much More

I may be going out on a limb here, and maybe I’m in the minority, but I highly dislike when God is pulled into political arguments to make a “point” by people who really have, to be blunt, no clue what they are talking about. These people usually try to pigeonhole the Lord into two categories – love and vengeance. They focus on very narrow parts of the Bible, mostly “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” and then will pick and choose various parts of Leviticus and Deuteronomy to show how most of the Old Testament isn’t relevant anymore and can be conveniently ignored since we are cool with divorce and eating shellfish.

Theologian, I am not, but I do pay attention to the world around me, have been blessed to have friends willing to engage in spiritual and religious discussions, and I know some truly wonderful people who have dedicated their lives to God, both lay and religious. I know people who consider themselves “spiritual but not religious” and others who have cast away whatever religious upbringing they might have had and consider themselves agnostic or atheistic. Others may have no spiritual or religious guidance and float from church to church still seeking something, and they themselves are not sure what it is. None of them deny that human beings are made not only of mind and body, but spirit as well. Perhaps this is why it irks me so much when people try to use God, and it is always the Judeo-Christian God, to serve their own political ends. We must accept gay “marriage”, because Jesus said we must love everyone. We must not judge the woman who has an abortion, because Jesus said, “Judge not, less ye be judged”. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone used the story of Jesus stopping the crowd from stoning the prostitute to defend the hook-up culture*.

The problem with only using these few verses or passages is that there are 73 books in the Catholic Bible. Protestant versions vary; the King James version, for example, has 80. Out of these books, there are countless verses, as each verse is only a sentence or two. So yes, Jesus did say, “Do unto others whatever you would have them do unto you. This is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) but a few verses later He followed that with “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'” (Matthew 7:21-23) In Matthew alone, Jesus speaks of punishment for wrongdoing at least as much as he preaches love and forgiveness. Indeed, he often speaks of ways to avoid sin, to give up material world goods in order to bring oneself closer to His Father. Does your hand or eye cause you to sin? Pluck it out or chop it off. Better to lose a hand or an eye than to suffer eternal damnation in the fires of Hell. Men, stop oogling women. He who hath looked at a woman with lust in his heart has committed adultery with her already. That’s a two-fer right there, with the 9th Commandment (adultery) and one of the Seven Deadly Sins (lust). Moses permitted divorce, but Jesus spoke against the practice, again saying that it forced women to commit adultery.

Here’s the long and short of it. People sin. We do bad things, we hurt others. We make mistakes, we falter. We tell little white lies, and we tell big whoppers. We mess up. Big time. God knew that 2000+ years ago, and Jesus came down to take the heat for us. Instead of us suffering eternal damnation with no hope of Heaven, He took the punishment. We’re not entirely off the hook though. Like a parent, God is looking out for our best interests. He will comfort us when we’re sad, rejoice with us when we’re happy, and when we screw up, as we will do inevitably, we will be punished in some way. A child who was allowed to run roughshod over his parents is a child who will grow up to be a spoilt pain in the butt. Any parent of a toddler knows the benefits of a time-out. Yes, God DOES love us, more than anything, because like we create our children, God created us in His image. Like we reprimand children when they misbehave, so must we be reprimanded. It’s the consequence of having free will. Catholics call that place of “eternal-yet-temporary” time-out Purgatory. It is, from accounts I’ve read, definitely a place of punishment, and not in the “sit here and think about what you did” type, but bearable because souls there know that it is temporary and one day we will be reunited with Christ.

Beyond that? God is God. The Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. He cannot fit into any little political idea. He cannot be narrowed into one, concise statement like “God is love” fluff. That’s just the first sentence. God just IS. In fact, He summed it all up quite nicely Himself, without any help from us.

I am.

*For what it’s worth, His last words to the prostitute were, “Go forth, and sin no more.”

EDIT: I found this blog post over at the Matt Walsh Blog. It’s one of my favorite blogs, and Matt pretty much summed up what I said above, just better. 🙂 I hope he won’t mind that I’m linking to it from here. Please read it.
http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/04/07/jesus-didnt-care-about-being-nice-or-tolerant-and-neither-should-you/

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